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Binance in Nigeria: from tax evasion to attempted evasion of justice

By Agunbiade Idowu

Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the two Binance executives being held by Nigerian authorities fled from custody at the weekend, immediately after the Nigerian Government filed criminal charges of tax evasion against the embattled company.

The manner of escape of Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, is reminiscent of that of former Chairman and CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn from custody in Japan in 2019, while awaiting trial on corruption charges.

The timing of his reported escape, immediately following the filing of tax evasion charges, has lent credence to the validity of the Nigerian government’s allegations against the company.

This raises the question: If Binance and the executives are insisting on their innocence, and that they have nothing to hide about their operations in Nigeria, why did Anjarwalla escape from house arrest in Nigeria?

By all indications he was accorded various privileges, and relative freedom, while in the custody of the Nigerian government. His wife, in a recent article in a UK newspaper, confirmed this, saying, “they seem comfortable and looked after, for which I am grateful.”

For a company that was recently slammed with the biggest fine ever imposed by the United States Treasury, this move by a senior executive confirms what is already widely known in the industry, that Binance has a lot to hide, and will go to any lengths to undermine the Nigerian government, and to evade justice.

This is a company of which the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet L. Yellen, said, “Binance turned a blind eye to its legal obligations in the pursuit of profit. Its willful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform.”

Nigerian government sources are insisting the prosecution will not be deterred, and justice will still be done, regardless of any setbacks.

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